fustian

play
noun fus·tian \ˈfəs-chən\

Definition of fustian

  1. 1a :  a strong cotton and linen fabricb :  a class of cotton fabrics usually having a pile face and twill weave

  2. 2 :  high-flown or affected writing or speech; broadly :  anything high-flown or affected in style

fustian

adjective

fustian was our Word of the Day on 01/19/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of fustian in a Sentence

  1. a speech awash in old-fashioned fustian and bereft of all substance

Did You Know?

Fustian has been used in English for a kind of cloth since the 13th century, but it didn't acquire its high-flown sense until at least three centuries later. One of the earliest known uses of the "pretentious writing or speech" sense occurs in Christopher Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus when Wagner says, "Let thy left eye be diametarily [sic] fixed upon my right heel, with quasi vestigiis nostris insistere," and the clown replies, "God forgive me, he speaks Dutch fustian." The precise origins of the word fustian aren't clear. English picked it up from Anglo-French, which adopted it from Medieval Latin, but its roots beyond that point are a subject of some dispute.

Origin and Etymology of fustian

Middle English, from Anglo-French fustian, fustayn, from Medieval Latin fustaneum, probably from fustis tree trunk, from Latin, stick, cudgel


First Known Use: 13th century


Learn More about fustian


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up fustian? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

not embarrassed or apologetic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • winning-words-from-the-national-spelling-bee-logo
  • Which is the correct spelling of the winning word from 1988?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!